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28th February 2018, 21:43 | Hullkr

Atkin focused solely on Hull KR

Atkin focused solely on Hull KR

Chris Atkin will put a personal debt of gratitude to one side when his old half-back partner Jamie Ellis returns to Craven Park.

Ellis played a huge role in helping Hull Kingston Rovers secure a return to Betfred Super League in 2017, scoring 349 points in 30 appearances during his loan spell, but he will be in the away changing room for Thursday’s match after re-joining Castleford Tigers in the close season.

Atkin enjoyed a cameo role in the Robins’ success after being signed towards the end of the 2017 season from Swinton and was grateful for the assistance of the experienced Ellis.

“I came in just before the Super 8s and it was tough trying to settle in with a new half-back at such a crucial time of the season but Jamie was good with me,” Atkin said.

“He welcomed me into the side and made it easy for me to fit into the team, helping me with little aspects of my game.

“He controlled the side and I played off the back of that.”

Atkin made an impressive Super League debut in the Robins’ valiant defeat at Leeds Rhinos in round two and is currently having to shoulder more responsibility in the absence of veteran half-back partner Danny McGuire, who is still recovering from a hip injury.

“Obviously he’s a big player and it’s disappointing for us he’s injured but we can’t do anything about that,” Atkin said.

“We’ve got quality and depth in our squad and we’ve got to get on with the 17 who are selected for Thursday night.”

Hull KR got off the mark in their last home game, against Catalans Dragons, but suffered a big defeat at Salford Red Devils last Friday and will be firm underdogs against Castleford Tigers, who showed signs of re-discovering their 2017 form in their win over Hull FC.

“I don’t there’s any good time to play anyone at the minute in Super League,” Atkin said. “All the sides on the day can put in a performance.

“We’ve got to focus on ourselves. If we can do what we’ve talked about in training and practice, we’re confident we can come out with a win.

“We came back down to earth last Friday when I don’t think anyone performed particularly well but we’ve looked at it in training this week and we’ve got our opportunity on Thursday night to put things right.”

The pitch at KCOM Craven Park has been covered since Sunday but there is some concern over the safety of spectators in the snow-filled surrounds and an inspection is planned for Thursday morning.

Leeds also say their game against Catalans Dragons at Headingley on Friday night is in some doubt following heavy snowfall.

A decision is expected to be made before the Perpignan team board their flight out of France on Thursday morning.

Wakefield Trinity have appealed for volunteers to help clear snow from the terraces and walkways ahead of their televised game against Huddersfield Giants on Friday.